In the second-largest jury verdict in Alabama since at least 2003, the Franklin County Circuit Court awarded US$61 million (including US$45 million of punitive damages) to petfood manufacturer Sunshine Mills against Ross Systems for malfunctioning software.
The three-week trial, which took place in late 2010, brought claims that software sold by Ross Systems created phantom orders, overstated inventories by billions of dollars and created havoc in Sunshine Mills' manufacturing, accounting and shipping departments. At one point, according to court testimony, trucks were backed up into the street as Sunshine Mills workers loaded and unloaded the same vehicles multiple times because of glitches in the software.
A second round of litigation is now in play. Ross has sued Sunshine Mills in US District Court in Atlanta, saying the company is still using its software, now without a license.